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date: 18 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Over the past twenty-five years, central bank communications have undergone a major revolution. Central banks that previously shrouded themselves in mystery now embrace social media to get their message out to the widest audience. The volume of information about monetary policy that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) now releases dwarfs what it was releasing a quarter century ago. This chapter focuses on just one channel of FOMC communications, the postmeeting statement. It documents how this has become more detailed over time. Then daily financial-market data are used to estimate a daily time series of US monetary policy shocks. These shocks on Fed statement release days have gotten larger as the statement has gotten longer and more detailed, and the chapter shows that the length and complexity of the statement have a direct effect on the size of the monetary policy shock following a Fed decision.

Keywords: central bank communication, FOMC, statement, monetary shocks, VAR, sign restrictions

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